Federal prosecutors maintain that Ulbricht was the mastermind behind the Silk Road site. Ulbricht was charged with narcotics conspiracy, engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to commit computer hacking and money laundering. The narcotics and criminal enterprise charges carry maximum penalties of life in prison. Ulbricht has pled not guilty to all charges.
Ulbricht's defense lawyer, Joshua Dratel, argues that Ulbricht handed off the site to other operators shortly after he started it, and that he rejoined immediately prior to his arrest, lured back in by the new operators to serve as a fall guy.
The case is being overseen by District Judge Katherine Forrest of the Southern District of New York.
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